Best of the Blues 2019 – The Ben Vee Roadhouse Blues 66

The year 2019 was a banner year for the roadhouse blues across the world. From Australia to Copenhagen and along all points in between, both debut artists and well established performers released a stunning number of new recordings. Every month my in box and my mail box were full of some fabulous blues recordings which makes picking the Ben Vee Roadhouse Blues 66 this year much more daunting.

This year’s list includes classic blues, roots oriented blues, R&B, soul, contemporary blues and blues rock artists with songs that span the genre from “almost the blues” tunes to the stellar classic blues sound of Mary Lane. Given that many of us have some extra time on our hands due to the ongoing global pandemic, I hope you enjoy downloading and listening to every one of these songs.

The position of the songs on the list is of little consequence…you might list them in a different order and get no argument from me.  Whether it is song #23 by Samantha Fish or number 66 by the Coyote Kings, all of these tunes made my playlists for my roadhouse blues shows at http://www.bluesmusicfan.com, got mentioned on my Ben Vee Facebook page or Twitter account, and/or got written about on this website at http://www.benveeblues.com during 2019. All 66 are representative of the energy and vitality that permeates the modern contemporary blues….by and large they are upbeat…sometimes loud…and truly international.

The Top Ten (in no particular order other than #1)

#1 Mary Lane – Blues Give Me a Feeling (2019 Travelin’ Woman)

Mary Lane, from Chicago, recorded the Roadhouse Blues 66 number one tune of 2019 at the age of 83!! How cool is that! She is one of the last living legendary singers of the blues to have been part of the great migration from the American Deep South to Chicago in the 1940’s. Just a fabulous tune!

Big Daddy Wilson – Crazy World (2019 Deep In My Soul)

An expat from the United States who has lived in Germany for years, Big Daddy aces an sumptuous slow soul ballad.

Altered Five Blues Band – Mischief Man (2019 Ten Thousand Watts)

Led by the deep blues voice of Jeff Taylor, this group out of Wisconsin once again makes one of my top performer annual blues lists.

Keb’ Mo’ – Cold Outside (2019 Oklahoma)

I played this song over and over when it came out on the album this past summer. You can nevah get enough of Keb’ Mo’!

Christone Kingfish Ingram – Fresh Out (2019 Kingfish)

A 20 year old with a debut album that features a cut with Buddy Guy as well as another with Keb’ Mo’. Life is good for this very talented young man.

Jontavious Willis – Low Down Ways (2019 Spectacular Class)

Another young blues artist that attracted the attention of Taj Mahal as well as Keb’ Mo’, Jontavious has stardom written all over him. It will be interesting to see how he evolves as a blues artist as the years roll by.

Tiffany Pollack & Eric Johanson – Blues In My Blood (2019 Blues In My Blood)

This blues duo hails from my hometown of New Orleans. Tiffany has a haunting voice that is framed by a strong beat and memorable guitar licks by Eric on this song.

Beth Hart – Bad Woman Blues (2019 War In My Mind)

Beth just has a great time with this tune and shows off the chops that have made her a fan favorite amongst blues rockers.

Brandon Santini – Drive You Off My Mind (2019 The Longshot)

This long time resident of Memphis had a great year in 2019. He was my 2019 Roadhouse Bluesman of the Year for both this album and one he did with Tennessee Redemption. A great voice and world class harmonica player; what’s not to like!

Allman Betts Band – Shinin’ (2019 Down to the River)

The sons of the Allman Brothers pick up where their dads left off! Not much else to be said but get yer tickets when they get close by!!


As you look through the rest of the list and hopefully listen to many, if not all, of the tunes, I hope you get an appreciation for what I term as the roadhouse blues. From its roots in the deep American south, the blues has grown and expanded to become a worldwide phenomenon. (And if someone you know states “the blues is dead” just show them this list and ask them how so?!) I am proud to be one of the DJs and influencers helping get the word out about just how great this music is!!!


ArtistSong TitleAlbum
1Mary LaneBlues Give Me A FeelingTravelin’ Woman
2Big Daddy WilsonCrazy WorldDeep In My Soul
3Altered Five Blues BandMischief ManTen Thousand Watts
4Keb’ Mo’Cold OutsideOklahoma
5Christone “Kingfish” IngramFresh Out (ft Buddy Guy)Kingfish
6Jontavious WillisLow Down WaysSpectacular Class
7Tiffany Pollack & Eric JohansonBlues In My BloodBlues In My Blood
8Beth Hart Bad Woman BluesWar in my Mind
9Brandon SantiniDrive You Off My MindThe Longshot
10The Allman Betts BandShinin’Down to the River
11Amnesia Blues BandFast Johnny CoolHailstorm
12HeavyDrunkIf I Love You Hard EnoughHolywater
13Mindi Abair and the BoneshakersWho’s Gonna Save My SoulNo Good Deed
14Walter TroutMe My Guitar and the BluesSurvivor Blues
15Coco MontoyaLights On But Nobody’s HomeComing In Hot
16Ghost Town Blues BandShineShine
17Chris O’Leary7 Minutes7 Minutes
18Tedeschi Trucks BandThey Don’t ShineSigns
19Van MorrisonThree Chords and the TruthThree Chords and the Truth
20Terry HanckHowlin’ For My Darlin’I Still Get Excited
21Kenny Wayne ShepherdWoman Like YouThe Traveler
22Zack Walther BandBad GirlThe Westerner
23Samantha FishDirtyKill or Be Kind
24Giles RobsonDon’t Give Up on the BluesDon’t Give Up on the Blues
25Lucky PetersonPack It Up50: Just Warming Up!
26Heather NewmanI’m Coming For YouRise from the Flames
27Left Lane CruiserSmooth CommanderShake and Bake
28Delbert McClintonA Fool Like MeTall, Dark, and Handsome
29Miss Bix and the Blues FixFollow Me DownWe Don’t Own the Blues
30Ash GrunwaldAin’t My Problem (ft The Teskey Brothers)Mojo
31The Texas HornsI’m Doin’ Alright (ft. Carolyn Wonderland)Get Here Quick
32The Mike Duke ProjectI’m Not Sad Tonight….Took a Whlle
33Ronnie Earl & the BroadcastersBaby How LongBeyond the Blue Door
34Travelin’ Blue KingsNinety MinutesWired Up
35Al BasileSo Called Story TellerB’s Hothouse
36Ida Bang & the Blue TearsShelter MeGood to Me
37Arsen ShomakhovWomen and WhiskeyRainy City Blues
38Elles BaileyHelp SomebodyRoad I Call Home
39The Teskey BrothersSo Caught UpRun Home Slow
40Kerry Pastine and the Crime SceneDown DownCity of Love
41Tad RobinsonReal StreetReal Street
42Sugaray RayfordThe RevelatorSomebody Save Me
43Southern AvenueWhiskey LoveKeep On
44Honey HoundsShine OnThe Flame
45Zac HarmonGypsy RoadMississippi BarBQ
46Annika ChambersI Feel the Same (ft Paul DesLauriers)Kiss My Sass
47Tennessee RedemptionBack To TennesseeTennessee Redemption
48Ivy FordStart a FightHarvesting  My Roots
49Wentus Blues Band w/ Duke Robillard 2:19Too Much Mustard
50Rockin’ Johnny & QuiQue GomezEverybody Loves My BabyDos Hombres Wanted
51Albert CastigliaHeavyMasterpiece
52Seth RosenbloomBroke And LonelyKeep On Turning
53Arlen RothI Can Fix It (ft Jack Pearson)Tele Masters
54Eliza NealsPawn Shop Blues (Roadhouse)Sweet Or Mean
55The Kokomo KingsHeatwaveFighting Fire with Gasoline
56Robin TrowerComing Closer to the DayComing Closer to the Day
57Blue Moon MarqueeAs I Lay DyingBare Knuckes & Brawn
58Peter WardTrain to Key BiscayneTrain to Key Biscayne
59Duke RobillardDon’t Bother Trying To Steal Her LoveEar Worms
60Harpdog BrownThinkin’ and Drinkin’For Love & Money
61Brother YusefI’m a BluesmanJook Joint Jam
62Manx Mariner ManlineRattlesnakeHell Bound for Heaven
63Josh NewcomGirl Got the MojoThe Blues Gonna Getcha
64Savoy BrownConjure RhythmCity Night
65Big Wolf BandBe FreeBe Free
66Coyote KingsDrive MeRocket

Ben Vee is an internet DJ and writer from New Orleans that now lives in Connecticut with his wife Annette. He started spinning records back in the 1970’s and has been writing about the roadhouse blues since 2011. He does two roadhouse blues shows each week on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com and he writes about the blues when the urge strikes on http://www.benveeblues.com.

Ben Vee Roadhouse Blues Playlist for Thursday Nov 15 2018 3-5 pm EST

If you get a chance, join us today at BluesMusicFan Radio from 3-5 pm EST! Here is my intended playlist for the set!  Not only can ya listen but you can chat with me as the set goes along!  Just click the chat button to the right on the web page!  CYA there!

ARTIST TITLE
Bob Lanza Raritan River Stomp
Lance Lopez Blue Moon Rising
Joe Bonamassa Self-Inflicted Wounds
Beth Hart I’d Rather Go Blind (Bonus Track)
Bob Lanza Walking After Midnight
Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne That Raggedy Shack
Jamie Lynn Vessels Done Me Wrong
Larkin Poe Hard Time Killing Floor Blues
Chris Stapleton Death Row
Ray Bonneville South Of The Blues
The Lucky Losers The River
Steve Krase My Baby Walked Off
John Akapo Ramblin’ On My Mind
Layla Zoe I’ll Be Reborn Blues
Cary Morin Carmela Marie
Colin James Dig Myself a Hole
Billy F Gibbons My Baby She Rocks
Damon Fowler Up the Line
Casey James Fight You For The Blues
Michele D’Amour & the Love Dealers No Good
Taj Mahal & Keb Mo Don’t Leave Me Here
Anthony Geraci Long Way Home
Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters You Don’t Know What Love Is
Crystal Shawanda Ball and Chain
Markey Blue Worries
Tommy Castro & The Painkillers Blues All Around Me

Ben Vee’s Roadhouse Blues Bin for Sept 19, 2018

Well…it’s the last day of summer for 2018….where the heck has the year gone??  Here are some more albums and tunes that made their way onto my DJ sets playlists regularly over the last several months……………….

Casey James –  Strip It Down (2017)

Casey James

Great young talent from Texas, Casey plays a fine guitar and sounds a bit like Kenny Wayne Shepherd.  This album has a number of roadhouse tunes on it including a duet with Delbert McClinton entitled Bullet Proof.  Also enjoyed All I Need, I Got to Go, Killin’ Myself, and Makin’ Up.

Joe Goldmark – Blue Steel (Lo-Ball Records 2018)

joe goldmark

A California pedal steel guitar player crankin out some blues…..you gotta listen to this!  The album is largely instrumental with guest vocalists on a number of cuts. Particularly liked Beautician Blues and The Wobble featuring Glenn Walters on vocals. I got a great response to these by my listeners! The CD also includes a number of country tunes including an instrumental Warm Rain that is pretty sweet!  Joe also is a partner in five San Francisco area pizzerias called “Escape from New York Pizza“.  Pizza and some pedal steel blues….not a bad combination at all!!!!

Mud Morganfield – They Call Me Mud (Severn Records 2018)

Mud Morganfield

A son of the great Muddy Waters, Mud is a fantastic blues man in his own right. On his fourth album, he serves up a blues buffet that spans the Chicago blues, funk, r&b, and a bit of jazz. Loved Oh Yeah, the title track They Call Me Mud, Walkin’ Cane, and a duet with his daughter Lashunda entitled Who Loves You. A number of great artists also helped out on the album including Billy Branch, Studebaker John, Mike Wheeler, and Billy Flynn.  Muddy would have loved a snifter of cognac and a fine cigar while listenin’ to his son carry on the blues tradition….I know I did!

Peter Ward – Blues on My Shoulders (Gandy Dancer Records 2017)

Peter Ward

Several times over this past summer I have started my sets with the instrumental On the Ropes from Peter’s debut album. It is a great upbeat tune; perfect to get a roadhouse blues set goin’!  Peter has a real pedigree in the blues having played with Jimmy Rogers, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Junior Wells, and toured with the members of the Muddy Water’s inspired Legendary Blues Band and Roomful of Blues.  He wrote all but one of the thirteen tunes on the album and gets some stellar musical help from Ronnie Earl, Anthony Geraci, and Sugar Ray Norcia on a number of the cuts.  She Took It All and What Can I Do To You? are two more of my favorites on the recording.

Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters – The Luckiest Man (Stony Plain 2017)

Ronnie Earl

This past May, Ronnie won his 4th blues award from the prestigious Blues Foundation as Guitar Instrumentalist of the year further cementing his position as one of the great blues men of his generation. I have followed his career for a number of years and he just continues to grow and excel at playin’ the blues.  And he is indeed a lucky man to have such a gifted band with Paul Kochanski (bass), David Limina (piano & organ), Diane Blue (vocals), and Forrest Padgett (drums) to back him up. I absolutely loved Ain’t That Lovin’ You and really enjoyed You Don’t Know What Love Is, and Heartbreak (It’s Hurtin’ Me).    There are also several tasty instrumentals including Southside Stomp, Blues for Magic Sam, and the simply badass roadhouse tune Howlin’ Blues.

 

Hey…..and don’t forget to tune in every Thursday from 3 to 5 pm EST as I play these and other great contemporary roadhouse blues at Blues Music Fan Radio . You can also listen to the roadhouse blues 24 hours a day on my stream at Ben Vee Roadhouse Blues .